Art critique

Creative Criticism – DTC Perspectives

By Mike Brune from Ogilvy Health

I’m pretty sure we can all agree, it’s been a year. A year in which so many incredible, unprecedented and unwanted events have taken their toll on family and friends, our work, our institutions, our sense of personal security, in short, our lives. Reviewing some of the most famous campaigns produced over the past year, it occurred to me that these four featured here cover a wide range of human concerns. From the personal challenges that living with a rare disease presents to the afflicted, to societal issues that can leave us all with an unsettling sense of vulnerability.

Each of these campaigns caught my attention (and to some extent, my envy) by leveraging evolving digital capabilities to unleash their creative ambitions and allow their respective missions to literally come to life. A pretty amazing feat that these four campaigns collectively accomplished was to add life to the living and breathe life into the dead.

Enough of the preamble, here they are:

Sick beats, Woojer

The concept of the SICK BEATS vest simply blew me away. A bold venture, the convergence of technologies employed here completely transforms treatment for people with cystic fibrosis from an experience bordering on torture into one that actually appears to be “fun”. Retrofitting the established technology of the swing vest and linking it to a Spotify playlist to produce a therapeutic effect is proof that “not everything has been done before”. Beyond that, bringing about such a dramatic change in experience for people who really suffer from such a difficult disease as cystic fibrosis seems like one of the best reasons for doing what we are doing.

Battles without bloodshed, Genentech

Know your audience. This common sense principle of marketing was clearly showcased in a campaign that reflects a deep understanding of the challenges men with hemophilia face and the channels through which they could be reached. Genentech found that online games provided access to this audience and spoke intelligently to them in a way that was respectful of their condition and aligned with their interest in social engagement. Knowing their audience’s interests and their need for social connections has yielded impressive results. Well done.

Mozart 80, Pfizer

From time to time I thought about the “what if?” “. For example, what if some of my favorite musicians lived to old age? I imagine most people are wondering the same about artists or anyone who may have influenced their lives. This is why I was intrigued by the concept behind Mozart 80. While their use of AI to “compose” works that Mozart would have created had he not died at 35 requires some suspension of The reality (at least for me), the program has proven to be successful in Pfizer’s efforts to recruit medical talent and promote the value of vaccines while battling the global pandemic.

Unfinished votes, Change Ref

I guess the message behind this campaign won’t be for everyone. Accept that I believe it is (or should be) for everyone, the concept itself is great, the execution respectful and powerful. It takes imagination, courage and an unwavering commitment to a cause to be bold enough to even propose the use of AI technology to resuscitate a murder victim that will encourage people to vote. Even if this vote is in the interest of preserving the lives of others. Very well done.

Mike Brune is Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy Health. He can be reached at [email protected] or +1 973.352.2027. For more information, visit, or follow Ogilvy Health on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

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